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Definition Essay Assignment Guide: 20 Best Topic Ideas & Writing Tips
Definition Essay Assignment Guide: 20 Best Topic Ideas & Writing Tips

Definition Essay Assignment Guide: 20 Best Topic Ideas & Writing Tips

Writing a definition essay sounds like something anyone can do, even in their sleep. After all, it is all about defining a particular topic of interest. However, while definition essays can be straightforward to write, writing them can be as technical as writing others. When you’re writing a definition essay, you’re explaining the meaning of a concept or term.

As with other essays, you need to sort through several definition essay ideas to choose a topic. You also have to follow a standard structure for writing the essay, including telling readers the term you’re defining. You’ll also provide clear and basic information, using facts, anecdotes, and examples your readers will understand. If you’ve got a definition essay assignment to write, below are tips to guide you and some definition essay topics to try out.

Top writing tips and guide for definition essay assignment

When writing a definition essay, you need to be prepared to do research. While researching, jot down points and create a definition essay outline for guided and directional writing. Below are additional tips and a guide for writing a distinction-worthy definition essay:

  • Be clear on your general direction before you start writing the essay. When you are, follow the proper structure a standard definition essay should take (introduction – body – conclusion).
  • Start writing by formulating a concise thesis statement, which you will include in the essay’s introduction section. The introduction will be the essay’s first paragraph, and your thesis statement shouldn’t exceed 1-2 sentences.
  • Provide some background for your thesis statement using an etymology or dictionary definition.
  • Discuss your subject’s unique features and include some examples for better understanding. We recommend adding examples because it gives your readers an imaginative view of the subject you’re defining. In other words, as you describe it, they can picture it – and it’ll be hard to forget.
  • Consider adding your experiences and making your essay personal; this portrays your connection to the essay topic. The findings show that people appreciate real-life examples better than fictional ones.
  • Conclude the definition essay nicely, connecting your key points to your thesis statement.

Tips for choosing the best ideas for definition essays

We will give you twenty topics you can start with if you’re stuck on choosing one. However, it helps to know how to choose the best topic for a definition essay, particularly if none of these inspire you. Below are tips for selecting good words for definition essay:

  • Choose words with multiple meanings to make your essay richer and more interesting. Moreover, you won’t be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic if you choose a term with a single meaning.
  • If your instructor didn’t give you a topic, choose several and store them somewhere. Then, start researching each topic to decide which is best for your paper.
  • Do some reading and research so that you can choose a topic that nails potential problems in the head.
  • Choose a topic you know well or are at least passionate about for a seamless writing process.
  • Feel free to use a topic generator to choose the best definition essay topic for your paper.
  • Draft your first paper, answering every point individually and then adding explanations for unclear definitions.
  • Proofread and edit thoroughly; don’t submit the essay without doing this step.

Definition essay topics list

Now that you know how to go about your essay, let’s give you some definition essay prompts to work with. We’ve divided the topics into different sections to make choosing easier; these should inspire you.

Definition essay topics for college students

  1. Understanding the concept of respect
  2. What does male chauvinism entail?
  3. Feminism
  4. The characteristics of an unhealthy state of mind
  5. The consequences of bad coaches in training

Extended definition essay topics

  1. The characteristics of a healthy weight
  2. Traits of a benevolent person
  3. Proof that the FBI violates the civil rights of citizens in the U.S.
  4. Frenemy: meaning and usage
  5. The qualities of a selfish person

Good topics for definition essay

  1. Art in the modern times
  2. The freedom movement
  3. Why total freedom is not suitable for people
  4. How the American Civil War shaped the meaning of freedom
  5. Characteristics and symbols of the perfect family

Interesting topics for a definition essay

  1. Television’s adverse effects on family interaction and relationships
  2. Achieving true happiness
  3. Love
  4. Love vs. passion: similarities and differences
  5. Is there a connection between love and emotions?


Writing a definition essay is easier when you have a topic to work with. That is unless the topic isn’t one you know something about or are interested in. Either way, it is harder to come up with topics yourself, especially when it is your first time. Hopefully, this article’s definition essay writing tips and prompts should help considerably reduce the burden.

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